Report From The DFAIT -- NGO Peace Building Consultation

This Department of Foreign Affairs, Industry and International Trade (DFAIT) — Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Peace Building consultation was held at the Pearson Building in Ottawa on Feb. 7, 1997, from 9am to 5pm. It was chaired by Ruth Archibald of DFAIT, with opening remarks by the Hon. Christine Stewart (Secretary of State for Latin America — Africa), and Ernie Regehr (Project Ploughshares). Thematic discussions, with wide participation by many of the NGO representatives present, concerned “Conflict Prevention — Building Trust” and “Post-Conflict Reconstruction — Reintegration of War-Affected Populations”. A synthesis review of these discussions were presented, very ably prepared on the spot, by Tim Draimin of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC). Draimin pinpointed the tensions, gaps, opportunities, coordination strategies, and processes coming from the participant’s field experiences and recommendations. The afternoon was spend in three parallel workshops: on Central Africa (focus on Rwanda-Zaire), on Central America (focus on Guatemala), and Southeast Asia (focus on Cambodia). The closing session discussed follow-up, e.g. regular (at least annual) consultations like this one. The conference was worthwhile. We can only hope that some of the recommendations will be implemented, which is never sure.